A Self Defense Course teaches you Life and Business skills too

A Self Defense Course teaches you Life and Business skills too

Learning self defense techniques teaches us many things.  It develops us in our character and confidence, and how we carry ourselves in the world.  The inner strength that comes from being able to defend ourselves, is also one that we can have access to at work and in our home lives, and not just on the street.

Here are 6 key aspects of yourself that you will develop in our 8 week Self Defense Course:

  1. How to actually defend ourselves

Firstly, attending a self defence course will teach us that we have everything we need with us at tall times, to defend ourselves – being our hands, arms and legs.  We can use our own body for protecting ourselves, and for striking if needed, and thus we don’t need to rely on a weapon or someone else.

Also, from a skilled self defense Instructor, we will learn that technique trumps strength.  There are actual techniques that can be learnt around how to leverage momentum and our own body weight, to get out of grips or holds, and have an impactful counter response if needed.

Many women, who may be significantly weaker physically, are able to get out of the grip of a very strong attacker, just by being trained in some initially counter intuitive techniques, and developing these skills to become instinctual.

  1. How to avoid situations where we might need to defend ourselves

Lessons for business people from self defenseA key component of self defense is to learn to avoid getting ourselves into a kind of situation where we would need to defend ourselves.

Learning to be more aware of our surroundings and what is happening around us, can allow us to have ample time to remove ourselves from a compromising situation.

Also, knowing what behaviours could make us a likely target, and then avoiding those, can go a long way to keeping us safe. For example, looking down at our phone on a street at night, means we won’t notice someone coming up to us until it’s too late. And because we are distracted, we stick out as a possible target.

Learning to make better choices when we are out and about is the foundation to any good self defense techniques.

And this can become a way of life, where we are more alert and aware of not only our surroundings, but others too.  This can be useful in all parts of our live, work and home.

  1. Attitude of de-escalating

From learning to avoid needing to defend ourselves, there are still times when we can find ourselves in dangerous or heated situations that can escalate to a possible assault of some kind.

Learning how to think in a stressful situation, and keep our wits about us, is a skill that can be trained and can keep us alert, rather than freezing or panicking.

Also, knowing how to gesture that we don’t want trouble, and yet at the same time that gesture is keeping us protected and ready to defend ourselves if needed, is a useful behaviour to have in our repertoire.

A good self defense course will- in its controlled environment – help us train to “keep our fence up” in our gestures, and to train our nervous system to stay focused and alert, rather than go into freeze mode or start over-shaking from the related adrenaline rush that comes from a stressful situation.

Thinking on our feet during stressful times is useful at work, and having a sense of knowing when to de-escalate and when to assert ourselves, can have a positive impact on our lives in many contexts.

  1. Attitude of Assertiveness

The intention to escape from harm is always our first response and aim.  Yet, there are times where we might have to defend ourselves, or we need to be offensive.  A self defense course will teach us when is the moment that we actually need to attack our attacker with a few carefully placed blows, so that we can then run away to safety, and when do we need to try to deescalate the situation.

This attitude of being assertive when needed, can translate not only to moments of physically being compromised, but also it can give us the ability to verbally assert our boundaries with people in the workplace or elsewhere.

  1. Accessing our Voice

Part of training to defend ourselves, is we learn to be more verbal and use our voice more.  If we go into freeze mode, we are less likely to say much to deescalate the situation or assert ourselves to break free.

Also, people who are more vocal are likely to call attention to themselves and the situation, which makes them less of a target and can deter the attacker.

This speaking up in moments of stress, which is encouraged and trained in the controlled self defence training environment, is a skill we then have.  We can use this to speak up more in other contexts of our life too, be that the boardroom or the bedroom, or around the dining room table.

  1. Inner Strength and Confidence

Confidence comes from practice, and so a longer term self defense course helps us to become more confident in the techniques we are learning, and to develop the muscle memory of the techniques so that they come more instinctually when we need them.

This confidence we then have in ourselves to protect ourselves, adds to our overall self-confidence and can show in how we carry ourselves and show up in the world.

Here in their own words, is what some of our previous students in our 8 week Self Defense Course have learnt:

  • “I noticed a shift 5 sessions into the course, where I felt more assertive in the actual techniques, and confident that I can and will be able to protect myself if I ever need it again. This has left me feeling stronger in myself, which is a nice feeling to have with me every day.” – Telana, Coach
  • “The self-defense class has really helped me to be more confident around my personal space and has helped me to come to redefine my actions and attitudes when faced with confrontational and unsafe situations.” – Ralph, Software Developer

To learn more about self-defense techniques and develop the inner strength to protect yourself and have this strength translate into other areas of your life , contact your Self Defense Instructor Leo Ming.

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Learning self defense techniques teaches us many things.  It develops us in our character and confidence, and how we carry ourselves in the world.  The inner strength that comes from being able to defend ourselves, is also one that we can have access to at work and in our home lives, and not just on …

Self Defense Skills are like a form of Insurance.

Self Defense Skills are like a form of Insurance.

We live in a world of risk.

Everyday we face the risks involved with crossing the street, driving a motor vehicle, taking public transport.

Some of us face risks in our jobs, be it physical risk of injury from manual labour, or litigation risks when constructing deals, or financial risks of the performance on a job.

Depending on the environments you live and work in, you might also face the risk of being robbed, mugged or sexually harassed in some way.

We value our possessions and reputations, and thus do things to mitigate the risks involved.  We seek legal advice, put disclaimers in place, and purchase insurance to protect our liability and our possessions.

We also take preventative measures to manage unforeseen risks, like putting on our seat belts in the car, going to the dentist for regular check-ups, buying the travel insurance when we go on holiday.

Yet we often neglect an important form of “insurance” or “risk management” that will help keep us physically safe, or at least help us to get out of unsafe moments.

Self defense includes striking your attacherIf we define Insurance as a means of protection from loss, then we could see learning some simple yet effective self defense skills (especially if we develop  them with a little practice so that they become part of your instinctive responses to threat), as a way to insure we stay as safe as possible in this risky world we live in.

This form of “insurance” and “risk management” is about:

  • knowing how and when to defuse a situation before it might escalate to you being attacked.
  • understanding when the point is crossed where you need to proactively strike the predator rather than become their prey.
  • knowing how to use parts of your body as weapons to defend yourself.
  • developing the skill of applying techniques, rather than relying on physical strength (especially useful for women) to disorient your attacker, so you can escape.
  • developing the ability to keep your wits about you under pressure, so that you can handle your adrenaline rush in a moment of crisis.
  • developing the above self defense skills, and the necessary mindset to improve your awareness of what’s going on around you.

Join our next 8 Week Self Defense course and see it as you buying insurance to protect your most important asset: your self.  Take a few hours out of your life to be Woman learning self defense elbow strike moveproactive about doing what you can to prevent being a target and to protect yourself and escape from harm.

The 8 week course focuses on repeated learning in a pressured but controlled environment, to train your neurology to function well and proactively, should you ever find yourself in the most unfortunate moment of being at risk of bodily harm.

Don’t wait until you have an incident, be proactive and take some preventative measures.

For more info on dates see this page or contact your Self Defense Instructor, Leo Ming on 0833780468.

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We live in a world of risk. Everyday we face the risks involved with crossing the street, driving a motor vehicle, taking public transport. Some of us face risks in our jobs, be it physical risk of injury from manual labour, or litigation risks when constructing deals, or financial risks of the performance on a …

For Beginners in Tai Chi: Tips from a Life Coach

For Beginners in Tai Chi: Tips from a Life Coach

Written by Telana Simpson

Tai Chi is an integral part of my life- but it hasn’t always been that way.  I had to make it part of my lifestyle.  From developing that routine and tweaking my attitude to how I practice this martial art, I have come to experience not only it’s benefits in health and chi, but also in a sense of balance in my life.

I am also a Courage Coach, and feel privileged to share time with my clients, and facilitate them to create courage and a life that they love.

Often, a key part of a life we love, is to have cornerstone practices which we routinely get to enjoy, as this brings moments of joy and peace into our lives.  It also helps us ease between the hectic work pace and busy family life, to time for ourselves to fill up too.

From a coaching perspective then, I share here some pointers to keep in mind, as you start to incorporate the practice of tai chi into your lifestyle.  These ideas come from my professional experience related to learning how to create habits that are useful and set us up for success, and also from my personal experience with tai chi.

Ten Tips to practicing Tai Chi

1. Be clear on your purpose

What is your reason for doing tai chi?  A good intention to have is one that is bigger than just learning tai chi.

  • What benefits of the practice of tai chi are you looking forward to experiencing?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time with having tai chi as part of your lifestyle?
  • Is it the calm that comes from doing a moving meditation regularly that you seek?
  • Or do you want to develop your chi to experience more inner strength?
  • Do you just want to focus on being moving, with friends, in nice environments to keep flexible and healthy?

When we get in touch with our bigger Why for practicing tai chi, this will bring more meaning to our practice and keep us motivated.

2. Make a commitment

Plan your life around your class times, otherwise there will always be something else to do than attend class. Make it a priority and life will have a way of happening around your tai chi.

Remember, they say it takes 21 days to create a habit, and 90 days to create a lifestyle!

So in the beginning, make a firm commitment to yourself to attend for 3 months at least.  The benefits of tai chi are experienced the more regularly you practice it, and so you can only truly grasp the movements and gain the benefits by giving it a good chance and showing up regularly and often.

Also, once you have this as part of your routine for 1 to 2 months, it is much easier to keep it up.  It just takes a bit of extra effort in the early stages to stick to something you are learning, and also to create the routine and space to fit it into your life.

3. Embrace the beginners mind 

We all start somewhere.  A key part of tai chi is the beginners mind, Sho Shin as Sifu Leo explains – to be open to learning and not knowing.

And tai chi is a lifestyle practice, not a class you take once or twice and then you can tick it off.  To gain the full benefits, and the long-term benefits, stick to it and remember that anything takes time and practice to develop.  So embrace the beginning stages, remembering there is not one perfect way.  The more open and “empty” we are, and willing to show up and learn, the more we will enjoy ourselves and ultimately gain.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others

If we bring to the dojo a mindset around growth, we come ready to focus on our own development.  Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we place emphasis rather on if we have improved since last week, or last month.

It’s an unfair comparison to look to others, as we are all unique and at different places on our own paths of learning.  Your fellow students are just examples to observe to learn from, and it doesn’t motivate or help much if we compare ourselves to them and degrade ourselves for not measuring up.  So develop more of a growth mindset, and enjoy it’s many benefits.

5. Be open to ask for help

Another benefit of the growth mindset is we become more open to ask for help.  You’ve just started, and others can share what works for them to assist you on your journey.

Also, it helps others with their own learning when they get a chance to explain or show you a move. And Sifu Leo is always there too to answer any questions.

One day you’ll get to help someone else, and then gain the learning one gets from such a teaching opportunity. So ask for guidance and others will help, and one day you’ll get to pass it on.

6. Count what counts

Focus on the small improvements, on the peace you gain from being present, on the co-ordination that is growing, on the small moments of recalling the next movement.

Noticing your own growth and the development of your chi, this is what counts.  It’s not useful to have a competitive attitude or a striving to know all the forms as quickly as possible.  And if we don’t count the small improvements, and rather tend to discount them because we don’t know the bigger things (like the whole form), then we miss out on the beauty of tai chi, and on our most valuable learning moments.

7. Match, look for sameness

A good strategy to learning something new is to look first for what is similar to what you already know– not for what is missing or different.  There are patterns in tai chi and its basic moves, and these patterns are repeated often.  Notice them, and you will find the rhythm of tai chi, and you’ll notice your improvements more.

When we focus on what we are getting, rather than on what we are missing, we enjoy the process more and this adds to our motivation to keep with it.

8. Be gentle and lighthearted with yourself

When we get serious, we get silly – and we miss the purpose of what brought us to tai chi in the first place.  When we are flexible and gentle – yet strong – we can laugh more easily at ourselves, and enjoy the process of learning and growing.

Because tai chi is a journey more than a destination, each milestone should be just a mark along the way, and we can have fun while we grow on this never-ending journey.

9. Practice practicing

I have mentioned a few times now about practicing tai chi.  This concept of ‘practice’ is often misinterpreted, as it is seen as something is wrong with us if we need to ‘practice’ a skill.  We don’t have the skill, or are not ‘good enough’ or doing it well enough, and so we need to practice.  This is not a useful way of using the word.

If you look up the word in a dictionary, practice refers to the actual applying of a method or idea, and is about habit and routine.  So it is more useful to see tai chi as this kind of practice which you do often, because then the focus is not on getting the moves right, but on moving the moves.

The thing with tai chi, is there are endless levels to learn and develop, and you can only learn the next level once you have experienced fully the current level you are on.

And to experience something, you need to do it- to practice it.  So take on an attitude of experiential practice, rather than perfection.

10.  Keep your self-worth out the dojo

The level you are at for a specific skill is not a measure of your self-worth – it is only the level you are with that skill.

So to develop confidence in tai chi, and to get to the stages of feeling more graceful with the moves, you need to practice and develop the muscle memory of those moves.

Our self-worth or esteem is a very different aspect of ourselves to confidence, even though these concepts get mixed up and are not well understood.

When you make them distinct though, it is easier then to not link your worth to if you get the moves right or wrong, and to know that confidence only comes from active practice.  From this flows the growth mindset, where we are in the dojo to learn and develop, and not to prove anything

May these ideas help you to gain the many benefits of tai chi, and be steps towards creating a life you love!

To learn more about Tai Chi Classes in Parkview, Johannesburg, contact Sifu, Leo Low Ming on 0833780468.

About the Author:

Telana, Courage CoachTelana is a dynamic, transformational Courage Coach who helps talented people have no regrets in life by having the conversations that count.

Written by Telana Simpson Tai Chi is an integral part of my life- but it hasn’t always been that way.  I had to make it part of my lifestyle.  From developing that routine and tweaking my attitude to how I practice this martial art, I have come to experience not only it’s benefits in health …

Why karate benefits women

Why karate benefits women

Women who are looking for a form of exercise or a lifestyle hobby that has many benefits to offer, need look no further than Karate.

People usually associate hard core training and hitting or punching bags with a male dominated environment. Gone are those days.

Karate is unisex in that the best ways to kick or punch have no bearing on if the student is male or female.  A push up is a push up, and students are taught the skills and drills equally.  They are only encouraged to challenge themselves and move to their next personal best level.

Women today, in this rapid evolving world, need be involved in the workspace and keep up with the times.  Because they are now empowered in the workplace, they should equally balance their lives through martial arts, giving one not only physical endurance but mental toughness as well.

In the patriarchal world of work, they need inner strength and a strong self confidence to stand their ground when needed in the boardroom.

Building strength physically in the body in the way Karate offers, is a powerful way for women to embody this strength, and bring that experience into others aspects of their lives, like the office.

Not only will this help in their self-image, but it will give women a sense of pride, confidence, and upliftment in their health.  The number one killer is not the deranged person in the alleyway, but stress and heart disease.

Stats from the World Health Organisation says:

“Of the 56.9 million deaths worldwide in 2016, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. Ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15.2 million deaths in 2016. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease claimed 3.0 million lives in 2016, while lung cancer (along with trachea and bronchus cancers) caused 1.7 million deaths. Diabetes killed 1.6 million people in 2016, up from less than 1 million in 2000. Deaths due to dementias more than doubled between 2000 and 2016, making it the 5th leading cause of global deaths in 2016 compared to 14th in 2000.”

Weight loss is another area that martial arts is good for. Movement is important and cardio exercises will not only improve heart function but will get rid of excess grams- even kilos – of weight and water retention. It will help the body to function optimally.

Aside from the health aspect that fitness from karate offers, many women live behind the screens of their computers or the wheel of the car lifting their children. Getting oneself to a dojo helps with socializing and meeting life-long friends – some of my students who have met in my dojo more than 25 years ago, are still friends in and out of the training area.

How does karate calm the mind? Kicking and punching will reduce the stress and rid the mind of anger. Using the minds visualisation tool is also a powerful technique to activate other parts of the brain and thereby balance the brain function.

In terms of a weekly routine, Karate classes offer women a wide array of benefits, from health and stress management, to inner and physical strength, and a warm, supportive circle of friends.

Join a class in Parkview to try out Kobujutsu Karate and learn more about the benefits of martial arts, by contacting Sensei Leo Ming. 

Women who are looking for a form of exercise or a lifestyle hobby that has many benefits to offer, need look no further than Karate. People usually associate hard core training and hitting or punching bags with a male dominated environment. Gone are those days. Karate is unisex in that the best ways to kick …

8 Week Self Defense Course for Women

8 Week Self Defense Course for Women

Next 8 Week Course starts: 10 June 2019

Learn the most important techniques to defend yourself against threat and escape an attacker.

This course will focus on repeated drills to make these techniques second nature, so your instincts just kick-in when you most need them, keeping you safe.

Leo Ming will be hosting another of his self defense courses – this time for women only, commencing in June.  Lessons will be for one hour, once per week, for 8 consecutive weeks.

The course is designed for women to be able to:

  • spot potential danger and threats
  • empower themselves to deal with threat and danger
  • know the target points of the body
  • practice practical street wise techniques
  • develop a muscle memory for the techniques so they become second nature, and instinctual when most needed.

Because this course focuses on ingraining the techniques, participants are encouraged to commit to the full 8 week course and not skip a session!

READ an article about why this is an 8 week course here

Don’t miss this opportunity to sharpen your knowledge and practice these self defense techniques in a safe and friendly environment.

>>DOWNLOAD PDF of this 8 Week Course

Investment: R2160 to be paid in full by 10th June to confirm your commitment to all lessons

Time: 18:00 to 19:00

Dates: Mondays  – 10th, 17th, 24th June, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th July 2019

Venue: Parktown Girls High School , 55 Tyrone Avenue , Parkview

(Secure parking available)

To sign up: Contact Leo on 083 378 0468 and make payment to secure your spot (only 15 places available) and also send him this form:

DOWNLOAD here the PDF Membership Form to join this Self Defence Course, and email it to Leo on leo@mingsmartialarts.co.za.

Internet transfers to :
Standard Bank, Melville Branch
Acc. 401034747
Acc Name: L. Ming
Reference:  name and surname.

TESTIMONIALS:

The self-defense class has really helped me to be more confident around my personal space and has helped me to come to redefine my actions and attitudes when faced with confrontational and unsafe situations. Obviously, we never want to be faced with a hostile situation that may threaten us physically, but the skills taught in the class provide a means to defend oneself with the aim of getting away and out of an unsafe scenario. Removing oneself from the situation is the main aim of the course and this would prove to be very difficult if not impossible without some knowledge on how to break a grip or to create a diversion which could be used for escape.

Ralph, Software Developer

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Next 8 Week Course starts: 10 June 2019 Learn the most important techniques to defend yourself against threat and escape an attacker. This course will focus on repeated drills to make these techniques second nature, so your instincts just kick-in when you most need them, keeping you safe. Leo Ming will be hosting another of his …

Why attend an 8 week self defense course?

Why attend an 8 week self defense course?

We asked one of Sifu Leo’s tai chi students, about why she wants to do a self defense course with Leo, and the reasoning behind asking for an 8 week course.

Here are her answers:

Q: Why have you asked Sifu Leo to offer this type of Self Defense course?

A: Unfortunately, I too have experienced crime and unwanted attention from men (#metoo).  Recently I got to a point where I said enough! and then spoke with Leo.

Enough because I was reminded of the Jennifer Lopez movie “Enough” where she hired a trainer to help her prepare to defend herself.  What struck me in the scene was the intensity of her training, so that the self defense moves became instinctive to her.

The incident that lead to me recalling this, was when I was chatting recently to the store owner of one of my favourites shops, with another friend, and all of a sudden this stranger came up from behind me and put his arm around me, made some crude comment, and then walked off.   My friend and the gentleman I was talking to looked as shocked as I felt.

It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that my Sifu Leo had shown us a move in one of our tai chi classes, which would have been the perfect self defense move for this situation.  But I could not recall it at the time- not even after the incident.  The move, if it had been in my muscle memory, would have been appropriate for the situation, and I could have then told him that what he did and said was not ok.

Instead, I was left feeling vulnerable and powerless to another predator.

Q: What do you mean by “in your muscle memory”? What about this being instinctive is important?

A: The more we practice something (whether it be a physical move – like the perfect golf swing or self defense technique- or a certain mindset or attitude), the more it becomes our way of being.

Our muscles learn that movement, and so it comes more easily to us when we need to perform that movement.  The same can be for self defense moves.  I have attended a few self defense classes over the years, mostly 2 or 4 hours in length, in a once-off format.  Yet there are very few moves which I can now, years later, recall how to do.  And I wonder if in the moment of stress, if I would recall them with enough clarity to defend myself.

When learning, we go through four stages:

  • First, we are unconscious that we don’t know, what they call “unconsciously incompetent”.
  • Then we become aware of what we don’t know, we become “consciously incompetent”, and this is what often prompts us to seek out to learn something- if it is a priority to us.
  • As we practice and learn, so we can reach the next stage, which is where we are “consciously competent.”
  • And for sustainability, we aim to make this learning instinctive. We want it to be a muscle memory, where we are now “unconsciously competent”.

This is how we reach towards mastery of a skill.

So what I would like to learn now, is to have a few moves that I am unconsciously competent at, so that I can feel more empowered, and stronger, and know that should I ever need it, I can and will defend myself better and escape a threatening situation.  Because let’s face it, in today’s world and especially in my country South Africa, crime is way too rampant.  I want to more prepared to protect myself.

Q: Why Sifu Leo?

A: From speaking to Leo about this, he is willing to teach me – and others who want to learn with me – some of the techniques to protect ourselves, and in a way that we develop the muscle memory of them, so that they become our instinctual responses when under stress.

From having taught these techniques for many decades, and from his thorough immersion in martial arts (spanning over 40 years), I know that he is not only unconsciously competent in the techniques, but is also aware of how to teach them by breaking them down into steps, and taking us through the drills needed to learn them properly, to develop the muscle memory and have them as lifelong skills.

Leo also has a gentle and caring disposition, and from my experience in his tai chi classes over the last few years, I know that he can also push his students when needed (in his compassionate way) to help them grasp the ideas, stretch themselves, and learn what they want to gain from the practice of martial arts.

And importantly, I feel safe in his classes so that I am in a better state for learning, and feel safe to ask questions when I need to.

Q: Anything else to add?

A: My hope is that other women will join me in this course, so that we can become stronger together, not only in our ability to defend ourselves and escape harm, but that we then also take that and grow our inner strength to speak up more for ourselves, and for what is right and good in our worlds.

DETAILS

8 Week Self Defense Course for WomenFor information and dates of the next 8 Week Self Defense Course for Women in Johannesburg, see this Events Page here.

Contact your Self Defense Instructor Leo on 0833780468 for any questions you have about this course, and if you want to speak to this student about this course to decide if it is the right option for you.

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We asked one of Sifu Leo’s tai chi students, about why she wants to do a self defense course with Leo, and the reasoning behind asking for an 8 week course. Here are her answers: Q: Why have you asked Sifu Leo to offer this type of Self Defense course? A: Unfortunately, I too have experienced …

The Straight Punch in Karate

The Straight Punch in Karate

 

Karate is based on the straight punch.   Understanding the physics behind how this punch works and the method of this punch, will bring the next level of depth to your karate practice.

 

Principles to improve your punch

Straight

The shortest distance between 2 points is the straight line. We use this understanding in Karate to get the maximum speed in a punch.  We aim to punch straight.

Corkscrew

Along with this, Karate uses the corkscrew method in the straight punch to get extra force, power and penetration.   This is when your fist is turned palm facing upward on the hip, and as you punch the fist is then rotated 180 degrees so that at the point of contact, the fist is turned palm downward.

Koshi

Another basic rule to maximize one’s punch, is to punch from the hip in a chambered position.

The hips, being your centre of gravity, are used when you punch, and this is known as Koshi.  This is when your hand starts on your hip, and by twisting or rotating your hip as the hand starts extending, the hip motion is used to drive the punch, adding power to it.

The important point with this or any other technique is that the body (and mind) must be in a relaxed state, or there will be no power.  If there is any tension in one of our muscles, there cannot be acceleration to obtain maximum power.

So, one must develop a rapid twitch in the muscles to do these techniques. It is the same as taiji fajing in tai chi. One must be in a relaxed state first in order for the explosiveness to emanate properly and efficiently through the movement.

Physics and Karate

Newton’s Third Law applies here.

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”

When you watch a sprinter, he uses his legs and arms to activate action. The arms and elbows must work in opposing directions in order to propel his body forward.  As the right arm moves forward, the left arm is using the same amount of effort and force to move backwards. This same movement and technique applies in a karate punch or block.

Speaking of which Newton’s Second Law also applies.

“Force = Mass x Acceleration.”

If you want power or force, then you need the other two factors (mass and acceleration).

Your mass is the ability to ‘create ‘ a weightedness in your body or your limb. How do we do that? By training your limb to be as relaxed as possible.

Many people think they are relaxed but actually they are still in a state of tension. One has to really focus on allowing the full weight of the arm and body to be like a bag of cement, to be fully relaxed.

So what is acceleration then? An example is a sports car. Some cars have a really high top end and can reach a great speed, but lack the sprint distances.

We want to be able to not only have a very fast top speed but more than that, to also increase that speed rapidly over a short distance.  That is acceleration.!

Multiply that mass with that type of acceleration in a punch, and Wham! The impact will be enormous.

 

Learn more about the physics of punching by attending Kobujutsu Karate with Sensei Leo Ming in Parkview

  Karate is based on the straight punch.   Understanding the physics behind how this punch works and the method of this punch, will bring the next level of depth to your karate practice.   Principles to improve your punch Straight The shortest distance between 2 points is the straight line. We use this understanding in …

Tai Chi Teacher in Joburg

Tai Chi Teacher in Joburg

Get to know your Sifu

Did you know that your Sifu, Leo Ming, first started learning tai chi when he was six years old?

CHiNA PLUS interviewed Sifu about his thoughts on the value of a practice like tai chi in our fast paced, technologically connected world, and some students share their views on tai chi too.

 

To get to know your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, and to learn more about his Tai Chi Classes in Parkview, Johannesburg, contact him on 0833780468.

Other blogs in our “Get to know your Sifu” Series:

Get to know your Sifu Did you know that your Sifu, Leo Ming, first started learning tai chi when he was six years old? CHiNA PLUS interviewed Sifu about his thoughts on the value of a practice like tai chi in our fast paced, technologically connected world, and some students share their views on tai …

Technique vs Strength for Self-defense in Karate

Technique vs Strength for Self-defense in Karate

Jesse Enkamp is quoted as saying:

“Comparing two equally technical fighters, my money is on the stronger one.
Comparing two equally strong opponents, my money is on the more technical one.”

This brings up the different role’s ‘technique’ and ‘strength’ or power play in karate.  And it also leads us to question what we mean by strength.

“Strength is for me more internal,” explains Sensei Leo Ming.

“Physical strength is applicable in Karate and self-defence, but the downside is one does not get stronger as one grows older. So, this physical strength needs to be nurtured and transformed inwardly, into a mental strength.”

If we look at it with a longer-term view, this mental strength is far more important. It gives us the ability to deal with the hardships that life throws us, from which no one is immune.

The body can endure much, but it is the strength of our mind where we ultimately win or loose when facing pain.

“Strength and technique are always important. If you use only strength you will soon be tired. If you only have technique and no strength, it will not do either as it won’t be effective.”

With self-defense, the reality a person is facing in that moment of personal danger gives the person the adrenaline rush that will boost their strength, which is needed for survival.  But it will be short lived as the body fatigues, and yet hopefully enough to get the person out of trouble.

Sensei Leo Ming teaching a self defense technique

So learning the skills of maximising your body’s leverage in terms of centres of gravity, the ease of deflecting attack and also gaining momentum to move out of harms way, are a strong components of effective self-defense training.

Some of these moves seem counter-intuitive to our ingrained instinct to fight or push or pull, yet with training the body and the mind, these self-defense and karate techniques can become second nature.

They then allow us to find that sweet spot, where we have enough technique to know how to use our strength to our advantage, without unnecessary fatigue.

 

To learn more about self-defense and Karate techniques, and develop the inner and physical strength to apply them, contact Sensei Leo Ming.

Jesse Enkamp is quoted as saying: “Comparing two equally technical fighters, my money is on the stronger one. Comparing two equally strong opponents, my money is on the more technical one.” This brings up the different role’s ‘technique’ and ‘strength’ or power play in karate.  And it also leads us to question what we mean …

Ethics in Karate

Ethics in Karate

Patience; discipline; respect; control; effort; etiquette.  These are some of the qualities student learn in our taiji or karate classes.

Karate fists and ethicsPart of the foundation of martial arts, is developing a high degree of ethics.  This is emphasised in kobujutsu karate training, due to the nature of the physical skills that karate teaches us.

Charles C. Goodin explains how integral ethics is in martial arts, by looking at a significant karate hand gesture:

“A clenched fist represents the destructive potential of Karate.  The open hand symbolises karate ethics and restraint. The open hand covers the fist, just as ethics restrain the karate practitioner’s actions. Many karate kata begin and end with the hands in this position.” – Charles C. Goodin.

An open hand symbolizes ’emptiness’ and being able to let go, while the fist is a universal language of combat.

“It is a combined version of the yin and yang,” suggests Sensei Leo.  “When we have studied the ability and the control to what we choose our hand to be for situations, we ourselves are much more aware and in better control of the self.”

What is Ethics in Karate?

“This is life-long work on the self” explains Sensei Leo Ming.  “It is very easy for the average person to recite and understand but very difficult to live by.  Displaying ethical behaviour challenges us.”

“It is about how we look at things in life, our attitude. It is how we are able to do right and if we miss an opportunity, to then ‘make right’. It is about our daily conduct. It is about what we say (especially to others). It is about consistency.  And it is about integrity.”

These lessons and qualities are ones that even Leo, for the past 43 years, has been working on in himself.  He sees his role in developing ethics in his students, as their Sense, as a very important one, where he needs to set the example.

“I think values such as these never change… the things around us may change, such as modern technologies and phones etc, but these values remain constant, and hence relate to modern day society too.”

Ethics and the Credo

Each system of martial arts may have variations on their credo. The credo is just simply theory if one only reads it. To be able to fully understand the Mings Martial Arts Credo, we must bring the points into practice.

“Therefore we have certain ‘rules‘ of entering and leaving the training place, the dojo,” clarifies Sensei.  “These are the ‘hidden’ understandings and methods for actual practice that students often overlook.”Ethics in karate

An example is when a karate or tai chi student bows at the door, he is not bowing to anyone in particular, but to himself.

“Students may think they ‘have to’ or that it is for me, the Sensei, but I don’t only see it that way. If they can understand, it is a training for their higher self,” wishes Sensei Leo.

Living Ethically

Students who train in karate and tai chi are encouraged to not only develop their physical abilities, but to conduct themselves in their daily life with ethics and integrity.

Knowing the difference between what we are capable of or have a right to do, and what is actually right to do, is a life skill that can lead us far in our own lives, and as a society as a whole.

Join us on this daily journey of living ethically.

 

For more information and to try a class out, contact your Sensei, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

Patience; discipline; respect; control; effort; etiquette.  These are some of the qualities student learn in our taiji or karate classes. Part of the foundation of martial arts, is developing a high degree of ethics.  This is emphasised in kobujutsu karate training, due to the nature of the physical skills that karate teaches us. Charles C. …